Why should you care about listening skills?
Most of us have developed as business people in organizational cultures that emphasize the persuasiveness of the speaker. We've spent countless hours, and a great deal of money, attending to our appearance, business dress, body language, facial expression, selection of language, tone of voice, charts, graphs, and on and on. The importance of those factors is not denied. However, they're not the only factors influencing communication. And are they powerful enough, when we're trying to get the best from a diverse group of people, build a customer-focused organization, or influence those who disagree with us?
As Kenneth R. Johnson, said in his book, Effective Listening Skills, "Listening effectively to others can be the most fundamental and powerful communication tool of all. When someone is willing to stop talking or thinking and begin truly listening to others, all of their interactions become easier, and communication problems are all but eliminated."
Understanding others, results in them understanding you
Consciously cultivating your listening skills helps you understand the many difficulties affecting other people. You become better at being heard and understood.
Use your human resources better
Improving your listening skills helps you more fully use the diverse knowledge, wisdom, energy and enthusiasm of the people you deal with.
Get more out of face-to-face interaction
Maximize the value of your live, non-electronic, conversations. Face-to-face interaction still influences the quality of your business relationships and meetings more than any other factor.
Gain depth and intimacy
You engage more deeply and intimately with your people, your teams and important organizational issues and changes.
Improving your listening skills helps you maintain the energy, equilibrium and enthusiasm of others, as well as your own.
"Managers who get to know their people, respect and trust the competency of their employees, and listen continually for how employees are doing relative to their aspirations, quality of work life, and sense of career advancement, will have a far greater chance of developing and retaining their employees."
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